Monday, April 29, 2013

US Hwy 20: Waterloo, Iowa & Gas Prices

My plan to explore Waterloo was pretty well thwarted by a series of violent thunderstorms this morning. Poor Happy spent two hours shivering under a blanket, despite my best efforts to console her. When the deluge finally let up, the entire RV park was a giant mud bowl. I now have mud pretty much everywhere in my camper and truck. In case you're keeping score for this road trip, it's "Weather: all -- Me: nil."

When we finally got out for a drive this afternoon, we found that Waterloo is a pretty nice urban-rural sprawl. The Cedar River cuts right through town, and several significant roadways encircle it. There's a huge mall -- actually a cluster of malls -- that must serve the entire region, because they're way too big to be justified by the town itself.

There's a large casino complex, an even bigger water park, and a nice dog park. I was hoping to visit the large John Deere tractor plant, but missed the schedule due to weather. The entire Waterloo universe is surrounded, of course, by endless acres of agricultural fields. It's a nice place, though not very photogenic.

One photo I did take is of this price board at a gas station. I've been intrigued to see that "Super" (89 octane) is cheaper than "Regular" (87 octane).

I think it's because "Super" has 10% ethanol in it and "Regular" doesn't. Is ethanol that much cheaper? Maybe it's because ethanol is subsidized? Who knows?

One thing's for sure: My fuel costs are lower that they used to be with Darth. My new truck, Anakin, gets a bit better mileage, and unleaded is now 20% cheaper than diesel.

I'm going to push east tomorrow, intending to cross the Mississippi River at Dubuque. It looks like the flood dangers have abated for the moment, so I might as well take advantage of the opportunity before I get hammered again by weather and its consequences on this road trip… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

1 comment:

Ryne said...

Wow! Wish gas prices were that low up here!